Lemuel (Lem) Thomas reported to NOAA on September 2, 2018, to serve as the chief information officer (CIO) of the National Ocean Service. He is responsible for setting annual and multiyear work plans and schedules; managing a multimillion-dollar budget; overseeing the network-operating environment; administering the implementation of network recovery plans; providing leadership and technical oversight to lower working committees; and providing technical advice to senior leaders.
Lem is currently serving in his third posting as a CIO. His first — which was the final assignment of his 27-year U.S. Army career — was to serve as the CIO for the U.S. Army Human Resources Command and Community, leading a combined staff of 1,250 multidisciplinary personnel and managing a $246 million budget. As the senior information technology advisor, he was responsible for the development, delivery, sustainment, and integration of 162 information technology systems, computer applications, and interfaces that service 11.4 million current and former U.S. service members and their families.
His first civilian assignment and second CIO posting was to serve as the CIO of the Washington, D.C., Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, the largest hospital in the VA’s inventory. He was responsible for the delivery and sustainment of life-sustaining systems and applications for over 5,000 end users.
Prior to reporting to his current assignment at NOAA, Mr. Thomas served as the chief of IT Project Management within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Office of Science and Technology. While there, he provided leadership to all of the bureau’s IT project managers. He was tasked to manage the development, delivery, and integration of agency wide law enforcement IT systems and applications designed to enhance and enable the automation capabilities of the ATF enterprise.
Lem is a retired U.S. Army Colonel. He served his country in Armor, Cavalry, and Information Systems Management organizations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.
He has earned three master’s degrees in IT management (University of Arkansas Grantham), national security (U.S. Naval War College), and public administration (Troy University). He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Hampton University.
Lem and Phillisia, his wife of 31 years, reside in Woodbridge, Virginia. They have four adult children.